The cast of military musical "Voyage of Life", including actor Ju Ji-hoon (front, right) perform at the press conference held at Dongsoong Art Hall in Seoul, South Korea on August 2, 2010. [photographed by Lee Jin-hyuk/10Asia]
Q: You have attended many press conference outside the military, but it must feel different standing here as a military officer.
Lee Joon-gi: The lower rank will go first. (laugh) When I was doing press conferences outside, I felt comfortable and threw jokes around without making any adjustments. But now that I am a military officer, I think I feel a little more nervous and stiff. I don't use the so-called "military speech" but I am disappointed because I feel like a solider at heart. But as a military officer, I feel a sense of duty about doing a production that will be a commemoration for the country.
Ju Ji-hoon: I am using casual speech because I have to explain about the musical and the character, but this is actually more uncomfortable. But like Joon-ki, I feel satisfied that I can take part in something like this as a military officer. I can carry out the responsibility that every Korean man has to carry out and also use my talents with this great opportunity. I am grateful that I am assigned a task which I can do better at.
Q: In the case of Kim Da-hyeon, you already have lots of experience in musicals outside. What does it mean for you to take part in a musical production as a military officer?
Kim Da-hyeon (Kim): I will given the title of corporal next month. I have been serving in the military for about eleven months now and I started to get incredible thirsty for performing after about six months. I missed the stage and I wanted to be on stage. So it was lucky for me that there was an opportunity like this.
Q: I am actually curious why you chose to cast Ju Ji-hoon, who was caught up in a scandal? [Joo had made headlines in April 2009 when he was charged with using illegal drugs, including ecstasy and ketamine. He pleaded guilty and was later sentenced to six months of jail with one year of probation plus 120 hours of community service and a fine of KRW 360,000 won.]
Lieutenant Major Lee Young-no: As of last June, private Ju Ji-hoon has rid himself of all the burden that had been put on his shoulders. Right now, he is working faithfully as a member of the military personnel. Before meeting him for this musical production, I had only known him as an actor who had appeared in "Goong" and "The Lucifer". But after meeting him, I thought that he clicked well with the character. And we needed the so-called "star casting" because this was going to be presented outside the military, and I thought it would be all right under the societal atmosphere.
Q: "Voyage of Life" is like your comeback to the stage.
Ju Ji-hoon: I cannot say that this is my comeback production when there are so many people who are working hard in their places right now. I could cause trouble for some forty soldiers [working in the musical]. I am talking comfortably because I am where I am [at a press conference] but I would rather you look at me as one of the military officers rather than an actor. I am participating in something for the country as a military officer.
Q: How do the actresses feel about doing rehearsals surrounded by many male actors?
Yoon Gong-joo: I am happier than ever going to rehearsal rooms. My heart breaks when they tell me not to come anywhere besides the rehearsal room. (laugh) I am inspired by the overflowing passion of young soldiers, and I think their positive energy is affecting me as well. And these days I often hear the compliment, "Noona [a term used by males when referring to older females], you are pretty". (laugh)
Son Hyun-jung: When I first heard that it was a military musical, I just thought there would be many soldiers but I didn't think there would be this many. I like that seven actresses are here like a flower. We really are being treated like princesses. (laugh)
Q: Chief Director Yoon Ho-jin has often adapted real-life historic incidents into musical productions, as in "The Last Empress" and "Hero - Musical". How will "Voyage of Life" be remembered?
Yoon: It is most interesting when we meet a story that is alive around us or when we meet history, rather than hearing about a fictional one. Digging up an old story and reviving it is also something that is enjoyable, so I am always interested in history. Korea is the first country on the face of the earth which was wiped out completely from the war and became miraculously rich and powerful in just sixty years. I am working with a good subject theme but there are still many disappointments. It takes a considerable amount of time to create a good original musical, and "Voyage of Life" is not something that has been completed but something we have to keep improving in the future. I hope that someday it will be a production which can tour and give performance in all the countries that had fought during the Korean War.
Reporter : Jang Kyung-Jin three@
Photographer : Lee Jin-hyuk eleven@
Editor : Lynn Kim lynn2878@
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Source : 10.asiae.co.kr/Articl...
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